A Look at Lucent’s New CEO


Patricia Russo joins the ranks of women running tech firms


Major technology companies, especially troubled ones, are turning to women for leadership. Patricia Russo, recently appointed CEO of Lucent Technologies, is an example. She faces the uphill task of reviving an ailing company. It's hard to say whether her job is tougher than that of Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who's lobbying investors to support a controversial $25 billion merger with Compaq Computer.

Russo and Fiorina share some common roots: They both cut their teeth working at AT&T and Lucent. And Russo oversaw the restructuring of Lucent's second-largest business, now called Avaya. She then joined Eastman Kodak as president and COO. Henry Schacht, who is stepping down as Lucent's CEO, persuaded Russo to return to Lucent to see it through a painful restructuring.

Unlike Fiorina, Russo told the press she doesn't plan any big shake-ups, which set analysts speculating that Russo is too much of an insider to bring change to Lucent.